Kishaun Chadwick is a student in the welding program at the Volt Center. His father inspired him to pursue a career in welding. He took Welding Level 1 at the Volt Center and was offered a job at Chatsworth Products. He plans to take Welding Level 2 and earn his associate degree in Welding Technology.
Craven CC welding student melds interests with career
By Holly Desrosier
Craven Community College (Craven CC) student Kishaun Chadwick has found his career niche. Although his spark for welding was ignited early in life, he recently decided to pursue it through the welding program at the Volt Center.
“My father is a welder,” said Chadwick. “He’s been a welder all my life—kind of inspired me to do something in that nature. I love to draw and put things together, so that’s what inspired me to start welding. I believe it’s practical; it’s something that’s always going to be needed.”
Chadwick started the Welding 1 course at the Volt Center in January 2020. He was a little apprehensive at first and felt the natural fear of failure that comes with trying something new. Even so, he decided to give it his all and prove to his mother, wife and two children that he could do it.
“I wanted to make sure I went there openminded, because I’m definitely not a school guy,” he admitted. “I’m definitely hands-on, so it was getting over the ‘you’re gonna have to sit in class all day,’ when really that wasn’t what it was. The first day it was a bunch of nerves, hoping that I make it.”
Chadwick also worked for Habitat for Humanity during that time, where he connected with a volunteer whose father works at Chatsworth Products, a global manufacturer of high-quality information and communications technology infrastructure products.
“I told him that I was starting to come to Craven for welding, and after that he said ‘come back to me after you get your certificate and we’ll see what we can do,’” Chadwick recalled. “Coincidentally, God made a way and I’m at Chatsworth.”
His welding course experienced several setbacks due to the pandemic: It was originally scheduled to end that June but was extended through October, causing it to be dubbed the “never-ending COVID-19 class.” He noted that upon completing it, he felt accomplished and filled with motivation to commit to finishing his education. He plans to continue at Craven CC and earn his associate degree after completing the Welding 2 program, then expects to pursue a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Ultimately, he hopes to become a certified welding inspector.
Chadwick said he would encourage anyone to attend Craven CC and go after their career goals, regardless of how long they may have procrastinated.
“You have nothing to lose,” he said. “Don’t be discouraged. It’s OK that time went by, and it’s never too late. You’re always able to do something. As long as you have that focus, that vision, and walk towards it, you’ll be able to run soon.”
The welding program at the Volt Center allows students to become nationally certified welders through the National Center for Construction Education and Research. The classes are usually offered in the evenings and on Saturdays to accommodate working students.
The Welding Level 1 class teaches students the principles and practices of welding. Training includes general safety, common hazards, oxyfuel cutting, plasma arc cutting, air-carbon arc cutting, base metal preparation, joint design, quality workmanship, codes, shielded metal arc welding and electrodes.
In Welding Level 2, emphasis is placed on welding symbols, reading welding detail drawings, physical characteristics and mechanical properties of metals, preheating and post heating of metals, gas metal arc welding using metal inert gas, flux core arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding using tungsten inert gas, and setup and uses of different filler metals and gases.
The college’s Career Programs department also offers a Welding Technology program, in which students can pursue an associate degree, diploma or certificate. This program is recognized by the American Welding Society.
To find out about welding certification through the Volt Center, contact Eddie Foster at 252-638-3919. For more information on the Welding Technology program, contact Ricky Meadows at 252-638-4550.
This article was originally published in the New Bern Sun Journal on February 17, 2021.
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